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Empty Cage Quartet: Gravity (Clean Feed)

The Empty Cage Quartet in 2 compositions that incorporate improvisational systems based on harmonic palindromes & melodic sequences derived from the cycles of the Mayan calendar

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product information:

UPC: 5609063001617

Label: Clean Feed
Catalog ID: CF161
Squidco Product Code: 12336

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2009
Country: Portugal
Packaging: Cardstock Gatefold Sleeve
Recorded and mixed by Jim Clouse at Park West Studios, Brooklyn, NY, September 22-23, 2008.


Jason Mears-alto saxophone, clarinet

Kris Tiner-trumpet

Ivan Johnson-doublebass

Paul Kikuchi-drums, percussion

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Artist Biographies:

"Kris Tiner is a trumpet player, composer, and educator active on the West Coast jazz and creative music scene for over 20 years. His playing has been described as "extraordinarily inventive" in Signal to Noise Magazine, "perfectly suited to the moment" in DownBeat, and the LA Weekly states that "trumpeter Kris Tiner can turn barbed wire to beauty." Tiner's compositions explore connections between improvisational music traditions and systemic practices, blending jazz roots with multiple streams of contemporary music. His music has been performed on five continents, his 70+ recordings have been enthusiastically reviewed in the international jazz press, and he has been recognized with awards from ASCAP, the American Composers Forum, Chamber Music America, Montalvo Arts Center, the John F. Kennedy Center, the International Association for Jazz Education, the Kern County Music Educators' Association, and the Levan Center for the Humanities. In addition to interdisciplinary projects involving dance, spoken word, visual art, film and animation, he has recorded music for radio, television, and motion picture scores, and his trumpet playing has been heard on MTV, NBC, PBS, and Comedy Central.

He has toured widely with the Empty Cage Quartet, whose 2008 CD Stratostrophic on Portugal's Clean Feed record label was hailed as "one of the best things in jazz to emerge in the new millennium" by the UK magazine The Wire. He also collaborates with guitarist Mike Baggetta in the duo Tin/Bag; their CD Bridges was chosen as one of the ten best jazz recordings of 2011 in Time Out New York. Tiner performs with the Cathlene Pineda Quartet, Chris Schlarb's Psychic Temple, Vidya Trio (with pianist Motoko Honda and saxophonist Beth Schenck), the Industrial Jazz Group, the Los Angeles Trumpet Quartet, and the Bakersfield Symphony Orchestra. He has also collaborated with Wadada Leo Smith, Vinny Golia, Kraig Grady, Tatsuya Nakatani, Nels Cline, Jeremiah Lloyd Harmon, Lukas Ligeti, Gerry Hemingway, Donald Robinson, Charles Gaines, Angelica Sanchez, Gianni Gebbia, Joe La Barbera, Jeff Kaiser, Phillip Greenlief, Nate Wooley, Lucian Ban, Todd Barton, Jamaaladeen Tacuma, Ken Filiano, Taylor Ho Bynum, Lisa Mezzacappa, Sara Schoenbeck, Harris Eisenstadt, and Michael Vlatkovich. He has been featured at the FONT Festival of New Trumpet Music (New York), Aperitivo in Concerto (Milan), Clean Feed Festival (New York), Angel City Jazz Festival (Los Angeles), Is That Jazz? Festival (Seattle), Gateshead Jazz Festival (UK), In The Flow Festival (Sacramento), The Outpost Creative Soundspace Festival (Albuquerque), NMASS Festival (Austin), and the Mission Creek Arts Festival (San Francisco).

Tiner is an Associate Professor of Music and the Director of Jazz Studies at Bakersfield College, and he has also taught at California Institute of the Arts, CSU Bakersfield, Taft College, and the Academy of Creative Education in Los Angeles. He holds an MFA in African-American Improvisational Music from CalArts, where his teachers included Wadada Leo Smith, Leroy Jenkins, Edward Carroll, Kobla Ladzekpo, Morton Subotnick, and Charlie Haden. He has been a visiting lecturer and performer at Durham University, Bennington College, The Art Institute of Seattle, Northwestern University, Brooklyn Conservatory of Music, and many other schools and universities throughout the United States and Europe, and he has presented at conferences of the International Society for Improvised Music, the California Art Education Association, and the Music Association of California Community Colleges. Tiner is a board member of the nonprofit Bakersfield Jazz Workshop, and he has organized a successful series of concerts and multimedia performances in the emerging Downtown Arts District of Bakersfield for many years. He is the founder of Epigraph Records, an independent label dedicated to the documentation of new creative music recorded in Bakersfield."

-Kris Tiner Website (

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track listing:

1. Gravity: sections 1-3 8:30

2. Tzolkien 2+9 5:06

3. Gravity: section 4 5:33

4. Tzaolkien 1+13 2:50

5. Gravity: sections 5-7 7:45

6. Tzolkien 3+6+7 3:52

7. Gravity: section 8 8:13

8. Tzolkien 4+5+12 5:03

9. Gravity: sections 9-11 8:58
sample the album:

descriptions, reviews, &c.

"Gravity is the new release by the Empty Cage Quartet, a group that The Wire magazine has called "one of the best things in jazz to emerge in the new millennium." Saxophonist Jason Mears, trumpeter Kris Tiner, bassist Ivan Johnson and percussionist Paul Kikuchi are featured here in one of their most focused and exciting performances on record. The music is comprised of two extended compositions that incorporate improvisational systems based on harmonic palindromes and melodic sequences derived from the cycles of the Mayan calendar. Although these musicians are well-schooled in contemporary and experimental methods of composition, there is nothing overtly intellectual or academic about the musical result. This band is equally at home whether navigating the intricacies of modern chamber music, pounding out a funky groove, or blazing through waves of freebop energy. And they do it all with a bold intensity that is well-honed from years of touring and performing together. This is music that forges a rare union of numerological complexity and visceral groove, brain and guts. And that's what makes this band so special - their music continues to expand and deepen with each new release, reaching toward, in the words of one critic, an "urban folk music of the future.""-Clean Feed Records

Related Categories of Interest:

Clean Feed

Improvised Music
NY Downtown & Metropolitan Jazz/Improv
Quartet Recordings
Squidco's Clean Feed $10.00 Sale

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